When I first became interested in genealogy, not much was known about my Eubanks ancestors. Even my grandfather (Newt) knew very little because he was only seven months old when his father was killed. I do have an old school slate that was handed down from father to son. It has some initials ‘carved’ into the wood and also scratched on the slate.
Years ago, my Uncle Curt (Eubanks) was doing some family research on our ancestors. I told him that I would also help and to contact me if he ran across any information or leads. He lived in California and in 1970 he called and asked if I could meet him in Oklahoma. He wanted to visit some of our ‘older kinfolk’s’ that may be a possible source of information.
I agreed to meet him and we began by visiting our ‘Aunt Emmer’ who was in her eighties. I did not know her but Curt did and we spent a few hours talking. She told us many things we did not know, including where Newt’s father was buried.
We knew that my great-grandfather’s initial’s was WM and from the slate, we had determined his father’s initial’s was probably WB. I did not have any information on my great-great-grandmother’s first name but did know she had a brother named James (Jim Buck) Davis, which would also be her last name.
Aunt Emmer took us to see WM’s grave. It was in the Lone Valley Cemetery in Hatfield, AR, about an hour's drive from her house. While there, she also showed us her mother’s (Minnie Williams) grave and to our surprise, she showed us the grave of my g-g-grandmother which we then learned was named Rebecca.
We had been confused, eariler, when Aunt Emmer talked about the Williams because she had married a Billy Williams, which was a different Williams line and no kin. We had thought she was talking about her husband’s family but we now realized she was talking about the (Noah) Williams that Rebecca married.
We knew that WM was killed by a tree and we always thought he was an only child but Aunt Emmer said he was working with his brother-in-law, cutting down a tree, when he was killed. This meant for WM to have a brother-in-law then he also had a sister. We ask and she said he had several half brothers and sisters. One sister married a William McCoy, which was the brother-in-law that was with WM, when he was killed.
The ‘handed down story’ about my g-g-grandfather, WB, was that he left his home and family in Arkansas and went to Texas, never to be heard from again. We mentioned this to Aunt Emmer and she said it was what she had always heard. She did not remember who first told her but said it must be true because over the years, she remembers different family members talking about it.
For the next twenty years, I did very little genealogy research. Curt continued with his efforts but my career kept me too busy. Then in 1994, Pat and I bought a new RV and started traveling a little, combining business with pleasure. We used these traveling opportunities to get back into my family tree research. Also, about this time, I started doing genealogy research on my PC Computer by using resources such as the WORLD FAMILY TREE program and the many CDs of information that were available.
In 1997 my wife Pat and I went to the courthouse in Polk County, AR and did some extensive research. The information we found led us back to the Lone Valley Cemetery, in Hatfield.
We were there just after mother’s day and noticed there were similar flowers, with hand written notes attached, on six graves. The notes told us how ‘that’ person was related to the one who wrote the notes. It had ‘Uncle Will’ on WB’s grave and on the grave of Minnie Williams, it had ‘Aunt Minnie’ and on the grave of ‘Rebecka’ Williams, it had ‘grandmother’.
Even though I had been there years earlier, I did not pay that much attention to the other graves. I was there mainly to see the grave of WM Eubanks. However, I now felt the key to finding WB was my g-g-grandmother, Rebecca. If we could find out more about her, we may find a connection to WB.
Afterwards, I followed up this information by searching for marriage records on Rebecca Eubanks and discovered where she had married a Noah Williams in Leake County, MS., in 1865. But there were none on Rebecca and WB. I then checked the 1870 MS census records and saw where Noah, Rebecca and some children were listed.
Pat and I went to Leake County, MS to do additional research and to see the place. We were hoping to find more information on Rebecca Davis. It made sense that if Rebecca was living there when she married Noah Williams, she may have lived there when she met and/or married WB Eubanks.
WM was born in 1861 and Rebecca & Noah married in 1865. This meant that WB probably never went to Texas. Since these dates coincided with the Civil war, I theorized that WB had joined the army just before or after WM was born and that he (WB) was killed in the war. I figured that after the war, Noah came home and he either met but already knew Rebecca and her family.
The information we found in Leake County eventually led me to a distant cousin in Ardmore, Oklahoma by the name of Arthur (Bill) Eubanks. He descends from a brother of my g-g-grandfather (WB). This connection led me to others and I have been able to find out a lot about my ancestors and now can go back fourteen (14) generations. I was able to not only locate my g-g-grandfather, William Bartlet but his father, William Biddle and mother Nancy (Owen) and others.
I found out that WB was killed in the Civil war and may never have had the chance to see his son, WM. I also learned that WB had been married to a Caroline Cheatwood and they had one girl. Caroline died young and almost three years later, WB married Rebecca Davis, my g-g-grandmother.
Noah and Rebecca had several children. One of the girls married William McCoy, which is the brother-in-law that WM was working with, when he was killed. He was 34 years old when he died. He was married to Lula Moore and they had two young children, a boy Newt and Viola, his older sister. Noah Williams probably moved his family to Arkansas, around 1880.
Another of Noah’s and Rebecca’s children was a girl named Minnie, who was Aunt Emmer’s mother. Minnie married Adam Mowdy and they had four children. She died about the time her half brother, WM was killed and his wife, Lula, later married Adam and they had several children.
In July of 1998, I was put in touch with a lady from Oklahoma named Estelle. She had researched Rebecca Davis, which is also her g-g-grandmother.…but from the Williams’ side.
Estelle knew a lot about the Davis family and sent me a book on them. Rebecca’s father was named Martin, of which WM was named after (William Martin).
I have one son, Terrell and one daughter, Rebecca (Becky). Three grandsons (Connor-b1991, Grayson-b1994, Dylan-b1995) and one granddaughter (Dawsyn Jean-b1997).
My Eubanks line is: Terrell, Garry, Vogel, Newt, William Martin, William Bartlet, William Biddle, Elijih, Thomas, Jr. Thomas Sr, George, Thomas II and the oldest of our ancestors is: Thomas I, who came over from England around 1670….and settled in Maryland.
Suggestion to new genealogy researchers. Family information can be a good and valuable source, but, handed down stories should not be taken as ‘fact’ until proven accurate. I lost a lot of time because of a story about WB going to Texas. This was a good lesson because I learned that one should never take any information for granted, especially those interesting handed down ‘family stories’.
January 1st, 1999